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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  October 12, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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we begin the hour with perhaps the quote of the day, i was not brought in to control him. that's white house chief of staff, john kelly, talking about president trump. the same john kelly it's widely believed, and until now was rarely disputed brought in to control the president of the united states. he gave a rare press conference. most of the stories are from people close to the west wing, paint a picture of deep dysfunction. that is what general kelly is up against. >> my only due frustration, with all due respect to everyone in the room, when i come to work in the morning and read about things i allegedly said, or things that mr. trump allegedly said. or people who were going to be fired or whatever, and it's just not true. that's my frustration. i mean no disrespect to you all. >> he said more than that, we'll
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talk about all of it, let's go first to jeff zellny at the white house. what are you learning about what he said today? >> the president asked his chief of staff to go before the cameras today to quell so much of the questions here that have been going on about all of the things in the west wing, staffing, other matters. this was the president urging and asking his chief of staff, who's quite camera shy. which is pretty striking when he walked out into that press briefing room to make that first appearance there. he was on the order of the president. anderson, tonight i'm told by this white house official, the president thought he did a good job by putting to rest some of the speculation, and of talking about the serious matters here. i was struck by how much the chief of staff sounded like the president. he talked and railed against the false reporting in his view, the media in his view, he did not addre address, however, the tweets or
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the statements or the issues from the president himself. that's one thing he steered clear of. intentionally focusing on what he calls the false reporting, he did so with a smile, got some laughs in the room, in many ways, he sounded much like his boss. >> he also talked about what the president considered to be his biggest challenges. >> he did indeed. he laid out what the challenges are, which we've heard, of course, but to hear this retired four-star marine general laying them out was pretty stark. north korea not a surprise. he said, yes, people in the u.s. should be worried and concerned, that the homeland here could be struck. also talked about iran, of course, those are the top two challenges, also talked about how slow things move through this government here, he didn't talk about the terrorist threats or afghanistan or isis. but did talk about the nuclear threats in north korea and iran. >> general kelly was specific about what he considered his job to be when it comes to the president.
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>> anderson, i think this is perhaps the most interesting thing of all, of course, the general was brought in to instill some discipline, some order into this white house. we heard, if you will, a job description or at least how he's viewing it now, 11 weeks in, saying, i can't control the president, but i can control what the president sees and hears. let's watch. >> i was not sent into -- or brought in to control him, and you should not measure my effectiveness as a chief of staff by what you think i should be doing, simply, the fact is, i can guarantee to you that he has now presented with options, well thought out options, those options are discussed. in detail with his team. and then he comes up with the right decision. >> so there's no question he has instilled some order here, at the end of the day, all the challenges that were there earlier today and yesterday, still remain tonight. >> jeff, thanks.
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when general kelly comes out, says everything is fine in the white house, the people shouldn't believe stories about chaos or dysfunction, is that believable? and is he saying that as much for the president to hear as anyone else, since now jeff zeleny reported he was asked to go out. >> nothing says i'm not going to get fired like calling a press conference telling the press you're not going to get fired. i think it's similar to when jeff sessions was under fire, and he called a press conference to say we're going to go after leakers. i think people around the president have realized when he's mad at you, if you can show him you have a common enemy, in particular, the media, that is something that endears you to president trump. i do think there's tension there, you never know where you stand with this president it he doesn't actually like to fire people, despite some of his bluster, but he does like to keep people on their toes and hang them out to dry. you have these continued humiliating command performances
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by members of the staff, or even members of the cabinet in order to curry favor, in order, to your question, to speak directly to the president, through the media, and to say, look, i have your back and i'm subservient to you. >> how did you see today? >> i think they had a real problem, which is this perception that general kelly was unhappily, he was about to leave in some capacity. whether being fired of his own accord. in that sense, he helped himself, and he probably helped the president for the moment because he took some air out of that balloon. now there were some things that molly said, that were a little strange and slightly bizarre, that probably if john kelly were talking to you, anderson, and not on camera, he wouldn't have said, like, that the president believes that there shouldn't be nuclear weapons in the world. that he agreed with everything the president's tweet said this morning, part of this was the audience of one, and that's donald trump. part of it was john kelly
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reassuring trump that he was with him, and also trying to take some air out of the balloon publicly. he helped himself for the time being. >> alice, it is interesting, time and again, over the months we've had people from the white house come out and say, look, the reporting about problems in the white house, with jeff sessions, with anthony scaramucci, sean spicer, it's all incorrect. only then later to have the other shoe drop. >> sure, and that's normal when we're talking about a lot of palace intrigue, kind of news stories. i think a couple things with regard to timing of this, general kelly made it clear, he intended to have -- address the press and attend one of these briefings, once he got his feet on the ground and figured out what base he was on on any given day, that in addition to the president asking him to put out some of these fires is why we have the press conference today. i think that -- you know, the main points with regard to
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answering the palace intrigue, i'm not quitting, i'm not getting fired, i'm not here to control the president's tweets, those are the things the president has been talking about. he went further to say, my job is to control the flow of information to the president, and i've been successful with that. i think the bigger substantive issues he addressed today, americans are really concerned with, are what keeps him awake at night? what keeps the president awake at night? he addressed that with regard to 'nique nuclear weapons and north korea. and he said, look, the president talks more about -- i'd just as soon do away with all nuclear weapons, i think that was important, to reinforcing the administration's equipment to puerto rico and those affected by hurricanes. >> there wasn't much difference between what chief of staff kelly, general kelly said, behind that same podium. he came out, he deflected anyone from believing there was any
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discord in the white house, and he blasted the media, 2 was the same type of message we heard from the white house. the difference was, the messenger was more calm, serene, subdued, he was more thoughtful and deliberate. what people expect from someone who stands behind that seal, that presidential seal, dare i say that the chief of staff, general kelly, looked more presidential than the president himself. i know that's going to drive the white house crazy, and the president crazyp he looked more presidential than the white house. can i just say, let's just toss aside this belief that somehow general kelly is going to change donald trump. that has not happened, that is not going to happen. what we have seen for the past 70 years in donald trump is going to be the same person that we see through his tenure as president of the united states. >> it also seemed like general kelly was basically trying to reset in the public's mind the parameters of what his job are.
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to bakari's point, i'm not here about tweets, i'm here about the flow of information, presenting the president with options in an organized way. >> i think along the lines of what bakari was saying, you did see a lot of reasons general kelly is valuable to the president and the white house. because of that, even temper, that even demeanor, also very much because he has realistic expectations. he knows that if you go in there thinking you're going to reign in donald j. trump, you're just going to drive yourself and everyone else crazy. he has a realistic idea of what the parameters of this job are, he knows that nobody is going to make donald trump stop tweeting weird to things in the middle of the night. what are the things i can control? what are the inputs that i can get a handle on, what are the aspects of this chaos that i can tame, given that the man in the center of it, the chaos generator in chief is not tameable. >> what's interesting, jen, this isn't just stuff that's coming
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from reporters with sources named or unnamed. you had senator bob corker talking on the record to the new york times saying, i know that every day in the white house, that people -- it's a battle for people who try to control the president? >> that's exactly right. and as we know in other reporting, a lot of the sources are high level people in the white house, including president trump himself, and people who are senior advisers, so the notion that this is coming from absurd sources, doesn't pass muster, they clearly have a problem with this ongoing game of thrones style mode of governing, i think general kelly clearly has at least from the outside, taken some steps to improve information flow, not only can he not control president trump, he can't control a lot of the characters and personalities that are still in the white house. even after the departure of people like steve bannon. >> anderson, one thing, they've always had trouble with leaks throughout the campaign and the
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administration, i'm sure that's something general kelly and all of them would like to address. the reality is, as much as i would like them to succeed, a lot of their problems with regard to the media, come from the president's tweets that get them off message. at the end of the day, if there was anyway anyone could pull back on that a little bit, that would help solve a lot of these issues they're dealing with. >> not only gets them off message, but undercuts what his own people said the day before. much more to talk about with the panel ahead. depending on who you ask, repealing obama care makes more people accessible to health care. infallible pro-glow foundation. from l'oreal paris. and conceal, reveal, and glow. with new infallible pro-glow concealer. wemost familiar companies,'s but we make more
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so go ahead. binge on us. another reason why t-mobile is america's best unlimited network. the president took more action today to keep a campaign promise to undue obama care. he also did something he criticized president obama for time and time again. namely, using executive order instead of relying on congress. it makes it easier for small businesses to join together to buy coverage. also to extend short term policies. this could draw younger healthier people away from obama care marketplaces. they point to provisions that would allow certain plans to drop customers with certain conditions. the president and many other republicans call it a step toward greater choice and lower rates.
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>> this will cost the united states government virtually nothing. and people will have great, great health care. and when i say people, i mean by the millions and millions. >> back now with the panel. molly, i mean, the president is saying he keeps hearing repeal and replace, there executive order starting that process, is that what this is. >> no, this is not a repeal or a replacement of obama care. but according -- one thing that the administration and the opponents agree on, this is an undermining of obama care, it's an attempt to undue some of the parts of obama care, that critics find onerous, that supporters of obama care believe are essential to the health care system, and are forecasting that there could be disastrous consequences for the already troubled health care markets. i think politically, what it means is that whatever ends up happening in terms of legislation on health care,
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which anything can still get done the president is going to be on the hook for this politically. if people's rates continue to go up, if people start to lose coverage, this is now going to be -- he's going to own this. >> alice, to that point, the president is promising this is going to be great health care. does he own this now? >> the botry barn rule goes into effect here, if you break it, you own it. you look at the numbers, one third of counties in this nation right now, only have one health choice for people there. if the health insurance companies continue to pull out of the market at the same rate, next year, one half of counties in this country have that option. and that's not sustainable. >> we're finding out that barack obama is not the only person who has a pen and a phone. since republicans in congress and democrats can't come together and do what needs to be done, which is repeal and
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replace obama care, it seems as though the president has no option but to take these executive actions. i think this is good to increase competition, that will help to bring down costs. it's good to allow people to shop across state lines, and it's good to allow small businesses to join together to purchase health insurance. ideally, we could have all republicans follow through on their campaign promise to repeal and replace obama care, in the meantime, this is the first step. >> jen, how do you see it? >> there are things that need to be fixed about obama care, there's not enough competition in the marketplace. the cost sharing payments aren't being made. that's the fault of the current administration, you don't fix that by creating junk plans that lower the standards. and the problem with these plans that he announced today in the executive order is that they will not cover pre-existing conditions, they won't cover maternity care, these are some of the issues that a lot of people, republicans frankly had with some of the plans that were
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working their way through congress. it will allow these associations to cherry pick which small businesses they want to work with. which means that small businesses that have older americans, that have people with health issues will be in a bad spot, so this doesn't solve the issues, it frankly makes a situation that needs to be fixed much worse. >> bakari, this is trump fulfilling a campaign promise. >> this is anything but. the fact is, i think you said undermine early, but the probably better term is that this sabotaging the affordable care act, also known as obama care. you couple this with the fact that the site will be down mysteriously for 12 hours on sunday. i was just with governor is a beal yous, the former secretary offal th and human services. sundays are the days when people sign up for the markets more than any other day. this is an intentional effort by the trump administration to undermine and sabotage obama
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care. practically speaking, with these junk plans, i'm 33 years old, many of my peers who are getting off their parents insurance, and find themselves in between, they're going to go out and purchase these junk plans. what that means is that older, sicker, middle class americans are going to have their premiums go up. it's not going to affect lower class and those in poverty, they will have subsidies, it will affect middle class. donald trump and house republicans do not know what they're doing with health care. that's why every other group is opposed to this, and only house republicans and donald trump are the ones cheering. >> if that is the impact that bakari is saying, won't that hurt president trump and republicans a year, two years from now, in the polls? >> time will tell. certainly, we have to go back to -- i hate to revisit this issue again and again. but you have to remember, when obama care was passed, we were promised that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. if you like your insurance, keep
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your insurance, lower premiums. none of that proved to be true for many americans. i think while all intentions are best on the front end. time will tell how this plays out. i do think insurance is like any other product that consumers buy, the more choices, the more options you have, the greater incentive it is for those in the insurance industry to provide better quality care at a lower cost, and that is a benefit for people out there across this country. the more we can do to increase competition for people across this country, the better. >> you know, it does seem that the president promised that pre-existing conditions would be covered and people could stay longer on their parents plans. if bakari is saying is true, that's not going to be fulfilled. >> the president made a lot of promises, he promised that everyone would have health care, and everyone would have great plans that would cost less. and he's clearly not going to be
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fulfilling the fullest extent of all of these various things he promised. i think in large part that's because he was willing to say anything on the campaign trail and let different people cherry pick the different things they liked out of all of the different things he said. i think this has been a really interesting object lesson in the leadership style of a president who is new to politics, and governing. this is a situation where he failed to lead his party in the house and senate, despite the majorities that they had, he was not able to use the power of his office and his personality in the bully pulpit and everything else, he was not able to lead them into a solution. bring his own party together behind legislation, even though they all agreed on the end point of some kind of repeal and replacement. and so -- but he wanted to get something done, and so he decided to do it in this manner, and that was his priority. >> everyone, thank you. up next, president trump once again goes on a twitter rant over so-called fake news,
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this time he takes his anger to a new level. threatens to revoke broadcast licenses. could he get at the media like that. are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service. it's impossible. it's like having your cake and eating it too. ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs. how am i going to explain this? if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab. schwab, a modern approach to wealth management. like paperless, multi-car,e and safe driver, that help them save on their car insurance. any questions? -yeah. -how do you go to the bathroom? great. any insurance-related questions? -mm-hmm. -do you have a girlfriend? uh, i'm actually focusing on my career right now, saving people nearly $600 when they switch, so... where's your belly button? [ sighs ] i've got to start booking better gigs.
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just, uh one second voice guy. [ bloop ] huh? hey? i paused it. bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. president trump is threatening the press again, twice on twitter yesterday, he went on the attack, suggesting that broadcasting licenses should be revoked over critical stories about him, here's one of those tweets. with all of the fake news coming out of nbc and the networks, at what point is it good to challenge their license. that's a loaded question, obviously. i want to talk it over with john dean, white house counsel for
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president nixon. john, you were actually in the room with president nixon when he discussed doing almost this exact same thing, explain what he wanted to do? >> well, what happened is, i was in there to to report on the indictments he had handed down. he was happy it hadn't gone higher than the men atwater gate. he rambled on what he was going to do to his enemies. and that included a plan that i now know today he was developing with colson to file on -- against licensees to try to get their broadcast license and particularly the washington post. indeed, they would have conversations in some detail about setting up what today became fox news. not in that particular conversation. >> jeff, president trump loves to go after the press, loves to bluster, how seriously should this threat be taken?
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is this something he could do? >> i think the answer is no, basically. most -- the way the licensing works is that local stations are licensed by the fcc. nbc which he hates more than cnn at the moment, doesn't have a license to do news. cnn doesn't need a license from the government. but, i mean, the idea of government harassment of the news media simply because the news -- the government doesn't like what the news media is reporting is something that is prevalent in authoritarian countries, in russia, in china, in turkey. i mean, it is really -- the idea that a president of the united states would even suggest this is so repugnant that the fact that it is basically impossible for him to do this is almost minor in comparison. >> john, i mean, the -- obviously no president really loves the press, that's not --
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they're not supposed to be loved by the president or those in authority. not loving the press, wanting to silence them are two different things. >> very different. it certainly comes with the job, that they can expect criticism. nixon had a -- his sore spot was the leaks, not unlike trump. he went to extremes to deal with leaks, trying to figure out who the leaker was. he wiretapped some 13 different people, including his own staff, to try to find out who was leaking. we don't know -- we don't believe that's happening at this time, but nixon was certainly always distressed about leaking. it came with the job. >> jeff. go ahead. >> you don't have to be a lawyer, all you have to do is read the first amendment. congress, that is the government, shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. i mean, that's -- this would be a straightforward attack on the press, because the government, that is the president, doesn't like the press.
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and that is something that is simply not done in the united states. and that's been outside of politics. i mean, yes, all presidents get angry, but the idea that you would use the government's power has only been suggested by richard nixon as my brother john dean will tell us. it was part of what got him thrown out of office. or on his way out. >> in terms of just an idea that is not a conservative value, the idea of the government interfering with businesses in this way, let alone ignoring the first amendment all together. just that is not a conservative value. you had republican senator ben sass of nebraska, no fan of the president tweeted, mr. president are you recanting of the oath you took on january 20th to protect and defend the first amendment? that's what this comes down to. >> that's what it is, it's an attack on the press, trying to
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intimidate them by threatening their licenses, he doesn't seem to understand that it won't work that way. i think nixon had a better understanding, he thought the way to do it was create competition, because he only could find voices on the left. and indeed, he had roger ailes in to talk about getting a voice on the right. >> john dean, jeffrey toobin, thank you very much. breaking news out of california, out of the north, the death toll just risen to 31, making it the state's deadliest ever. that could rise as this gets worse in the coming days.
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imagine what we can do for the conditions that affect us all. and i am a senior public safety my namspecialist for pg&e. my job is to help educate our first responders on how to deal with natural gas and electric emergencies. everyday when we go to work we want everyone to work safely and come home safely. i live right here in auburn, i absolutely love this community. once i moved here i didn't want to live anywhere else. i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. breaking news to report, 31 people have lost their lives in the california wildfires. that gives it the horrible distinction of being the state's deadliest ever. with winds blowing in, the
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firefight could get much worse in the next few days. >> we're on the front lines as firefighters try to keep another town from burning. the fire is coming up this hill, you can see the flames below us, the smoke is billowing. >> in the hills above calistoga, it's a race to keep up with the flames. >> endless fuel in the form of dry trees and brush make it a daunting task. >> it's really steep, rugged, a lot of thick vegetation, there's wind, spot fires blowing everywhe everywhere. >> controlled burns like this one are meant to block the fire from advancing, a half mile down the road, the fire has done just that. inching down this hill, toward the community. >> the team puts it out, they're exhausted, they use fire hoses as rope to make it back up the hill. we find this firefighter trying to catch his breath. >> very sporadic, erratic fire behavior, that's about it. >> how difficult has it been the last couple days? >> it's been busy. definitely been busy.
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>> this is absolutely the worst fire i've ever seen in california. i think it's because of the amount of people that are affected. you have whole swaths of neighborhoods, it looks like a bomb has gone off. it looks like we've been bombed. >> the fire swept through so quickly here, residents have time to grab belongings barely. >> this is all just stuff, you know, at the end of the day. it's just stuff. but man the smell is just terrible. >> back on the line, crews working overtime with little or no sleep. >> i got about an hour sleep last night. >> you're not able to get any rest. >> no, i mean -- you have to keep up with the fire so you can try to save homes, property, lives. >> the number of missing people, where does that stand tonight?
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>> right now, anderson, it is at 400. that number continues to change. it is a very scary number, we know this is the deadliest fire on record in california. and unfortunately, it's probably going to go up. it's something we should keep in mind, is that this fire swept through the community in the middle of the night, and we know when covering natural disasters, whether it's a hurricane, a tornado, now a wildfire, that for some reason, people are not able to evacuate at night or they choose not to evacuate. we're seeing apparently that being compounded here in northern california, as this death toll continues to rise. anderson? >> appreciate the reporting. joining me now, is the deputy chief scott mcclean. thank you for being with us. where do things stand tonight with the containment of this fire? >> well, the containment on the tubbs fire went up 40% this
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morning. it's going to be a very slow process. as you can imagine looking all around behind me here, all these homes that have been thoroughly destroyed. and we have to go through each home, each plot here to make sure there's no hotspots. so there's no chance of any embers, you go back up over here in the hills, you have topography that's difficult to climb and get into. so it takes time for our hand crews and dozers to get up in there and do those jobs thoroughly and meticulously. >> the difficulties, the particular challenges with this fire is the topography and the winds? >> definitely the winds. this fire started 8 to 10 miles to the east, in a community called calistoga, it was propelled late in the afternoon this way, by 1:00 in the morning, it hit a subdivision over there on the hill. and then it came through here. weren't across a freeway, four lanes and came into this area about -- we think around 2:30 in the morning, again, people are sound asleep. and you look all around here, you see cars, every home almost
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has a car in front of it or in the drive way. so that's kind of telling me that it hit so hard, people had no time. >> i mean, i understand it's not just the flames and the wind, the smoke is also causing significant difficulties. >> yes and no. during the course of this fire, after that particular firestorm went through, we have what's called an inversion layer. the coal holds the smoke down close to the ground. sometimes we do have visibility issues, and that would hamper our aircraft efforts at times. again, we've had all the resources, aircraft. they pump 331,000 gallons of retardant out of one air base in sacramento for this area yesterday alone. which is an all time record. >> something like an ember that's brought -- carried by the wind. how far can that go and land and restart a fire? >> that's a very good point. with that wind pushing us far
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this way, it was throwing ember casts, it was throwing embers way out. it could be a quarter mile, half a mile, every one of those embers is going to land in that vegetation and start a fire, that's how receptive this vegetation is in california right now, as i speak. once those fires start from those embers, they grow and grow and grow. and they'll actually add to the speed of the main body of the fire, they'll draw the main body of the fire to them. and with the wind pushing it as well. >> don't question, first of all, the fact that an ember can travel a half mile or mile, and light down and start another fire is extraordinary, if it does that and it starts a new fire, that draws the existing fire to it? >> it can, yes. as that -- a new fire, that new start develops and starts growing and growing and growing, we're talking a decent size of fire that's developed from that, it still has time to grow, that fire could be like i said, maybe three quarters of a mile away,
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it's growing and it's growing quickly. so that just draws that fire. i'm not just talking one ember, it could be a whole series of embers in front of that fire. >> it's incredible. chief maclaine, appreciate you talking to us, and wish you and all the other firefighters the best. when we come back, the heart breaking story of this little girl, taken from her home in uganda, sold to an american couple who thought they were adopting an orphan. the cnn exclusive investigation uncovered families being duped next. pro-glow foundation. from l'oreal paris. and conceal, reveal, and glow. with new infallible pro-glow concealer. wemost familiar companies,'s but we make more than our name suggests. we're an organic tea company. a premium juice company. a coconut water company. we've got drinks for long days. for birthdays. for turning over new leaves. and we make them for every moment in every corner of the country.
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heart breaking, disturbing report, a cnn investigation has uncovers children being purposely orphaned, mothers think they're temporarily giving up their children to be educated. instead, they are sold to adopted families who think they're taking an orphan in need. randi kaye has an exclusive.
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>> reporter: her name is namada, and this is her in ohio with her adopted family. she was born here in a tiny village in uganda. but in 2015, when she was just 5, jessica and adam davis adopted her. they call her mada. the ohio couple already had four children of their own. but wanted to take in an orphan. in october 2014 they got the call from their adoption agency, european adoption consultants. >> what did they tell you when they called you about mada. >> we were told her father was deceased, she was being severely neglected at home, and her mother was leaving her open to abu abuse. >> couldn't provide an education. >> never had been in school. >> didn't provide daily sustenance. >> they kept saying, this is a mother who does not want her child. >> it was made clear to you that mada's mother was relinquishing
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her, didn't want her. >> 100%. >> there was no question. >> no, no, not at all. >> in april 2015, the davis' flew to uganda to meet mada. >> she was in an orphanage, no toys, bars on the windows. >> the orphanage was called god's mercy, it was four hours from mada's village. by september 2015, mada was in ohio, bonding with her new siblings. but after about six months says mada's english started to improve. she opened up about her life in uganda, and what she shared was alarming. mada told jessica that her biological mom was a good mom who loved her. she even detailed how her mother there would walk her to school every day. >> every single thing in that file and that we were told aside from the file, she unraveled to be a lie. >> a lie? how could that be? jessica alerted the u.s. state
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department. >> what did you tell the state department? >> everything that she had told me. everything was not true. and it sounds like she has a mother out there that really loves her and possibly a father. >> what were you afraid you'd find? >> that we had somehow participated in taking a child from a loving family. >> yeah. >> their fears would be realized. jessica contacted an organization run by karen riley, who actually found mada's biological mother in uganda and arranged a video reunion. >> why are you so excited? >> because i get to talk to my mom. >> how nice? are you happy? >> yeah. >> we are doing fine. how are you? >> good. >> and in that moment, everything changed. the real story of why she was
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given up by her mother to this family in america was exposed. >> with that face time call, she learned. >> the true story. >> that her mother was tricked. >> tricks the davis' say because mada's mother was lied to, she was told the davis' were simply sponsoring her daughter's education in america, not ado adopting her, and that, if you can believe it, was just the tip of the iceberg. because the davis' have learned their experience is not unique. in fact, a cnn investigation has discovered that multiple families have been duped. >> it works like this, children are being taken from their homes, placed in orphanages even though they weren't orphans, then sold for as much as $15,000 a child to unwitting american families. the promise of education with an ultimate return home, all just a ruse. >> they will hone in on vulnerable families, usually
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single parents, widows, would you like an education opportunity for your children. >> karen riley who is an advocate for ugandan children says a villager turned trafficker usually makes a sales pitch to mothers at a local clutch. mada's village was targeted. >> that's how it all started in the beginning. is the person came to the church and that's what happened in that particular village. seven children went from a tiny village, the same village. >> this affidavit from the investigation, one of many documents obtained by cnn has a statement from mada's mother. i had not realized i had gone through a process to i don't want to see another mother go through this. >> a u began dan court says ma da's referral form is fraudulent. it says mad da's mother is helpless. the reason given for referral, no care is provided by the mother. the referral form is dated
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october 21st, 2014. exactly one week after the davis' say they got the call that mada was available for adoption. at the time of that call the davis now believe she wasn't an or fan at all but still living at home with a mother who loved her. >> if our child had been taken from us. >> yeah. >> we want our child back. >> so the daifsz did something remarkable. they filed paper worng to have the adoption vacated. they would take mada back to her birth mother. >> did you have the state department's blessing? >> they were saying, you know, you can just keep her if you want. i said to them i didn't purchase her at walmart. >> one year after they brought mada home to ohio, this. >> so mada, what's today? >> i going home. >> are you excited? >> yeah. >> are you going to uganda? >> yes. >> what's the first thing you're going to do when you see your mom? >> hug her.
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>> is this a long flight or a short flight? >> long. >> after a 14-hour journey mada finally arrived home to her village. >> in september 2016 the u began dan government officially gave parental rights back to namada's biological mother, but jessica's story wasn't unique. enter stacy wells. >> i just wasn't in it to, i don't know, to buy a child. i didn't need a child. >> stacy wells and her husband shawn already had two sons, but in 2016 they adopted seven-year-old viala from uganda. they worked with, you gegsd it, the same company the daifsz used, european adoption consultants. they do paid around $15,000 to the company. they say that agency told them a
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story strikingly similar to namada's. but this time it was about viala. >> what did they tell you about her mother? >> they just said that she had abandoned the girls. at the dad died they told us that she didn't feed them, that they were found sick. like dying, basically. >> viala, it turns out, was taken to the same orphanage as mada, god's mercy. but later at her new home in west virginia, as viala became fluent in english, the truth started to unfold. >> a lot of it was about how she talked about her mother. her experience in her home just did not match the paperwork. >> stacy, who spoke exclusively with cnn, also contacted reunite uganda to find viala's biological mother. karen riley told us viala's mom was also lied to by local traffickers, using the same false promise of education in
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america. >> viala wasn't an or fan. she was made an aor fan so you could adopt her. >> right. right. >> stacy traveled back to uganda in november 2016 and reunited viala with her mother. >> i mean, she was just running, and we get out and her mother just embraces me. >> viala's adoption was a fraud and stacy says it's all about money. >> they are getting the wore fans because there's a dollar sign. you know, a market has been created. >> a market for children with a pop line, it appears, back to the united states, which is where european adoption consultants is headquartered. and where we found the director of eac's africa adoption program. >> you helped organize the uganda adoptions. >> no. there was people in uganda that did it. >> were these mothers lied to? >> no. absolutely not. >> the story what happened to these families, it's obviously heart bricking.
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how many families could be affected here? >> it's hard to say how many other faels, anderson, were misled or tricked, but we may have just scratched the surface, actually. we have been told about at least two other girls from uganda. they're actually viala's sisters who were adopted by american families, and so far those women have been unwilling to reunite the girls with their mother in uganda. >> so you mentioned the orphanage where mada and viala were taken. is that still open? >> the u began dan government has told us that orphanage has actually been closed. they found that they were operating illegally, processing guardianship orders fraudulent the and traffic lg children. we weren't able to reach anyone from that orphanage because it has been closed. the state department has been investigating eac and its tries to this alleged trafficking scheme. the state department shut down that agency for three years after finding that eac failed to adequately supervise its foreign
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country providers to ensure that they didn't engage in the sale, abduction or trafficking much children. no charges have been filed, but the fbi told us the investigation is ongoing, anderson. >> incredible reporting. thank you. we'll be right back. and we may not know much about medicine, but we know a lot about drama. from scandalous romance, to ridiculous plot twists. (gasping) son? dad! we also know you can avoid drama by getting an annual check-up. so we're partnering with cigna to remind you to go see a real doctor. go, know, and take control of your health. it could save your life. doctor poses! dad! cigna. together, all the way.
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kwilk note on what could be the next big controversy out of the white house. tomorrow afternoon at 12:45 eastern time the president is expected to declare the iran nuclear agreement is not in the national interest. this dessert fiction leaves what to do next in the hands of congress. we'll have full reporting on that tomorrow. time to hand it over to don lemon cnn tonight starts now. this is cnn tonight. i am don lemon. here is what we heard from the white house just today. on north korea, quote, right now we think the threat is manageable, but overtime if it grows beyond where it is today, let's hope diplomacy works. on congress, quote, i have nothing but respect for members of the congress and the staff that work so hard for them. and on the devastation of hurricane maria in puerto rico, quote, our country will stand with those american citizens in puerto rico until the job is done. sounds good, right? calm, steady,